Turkana County confirms first coronavirus case

Turkana County has reported its first positive case of Covid-19.

Deputy Governor Peter Lotethiro on Monday evening confirmed the case moments after Health CAS Dr Mercy Mwangangi delivered the news to the country during national updates.

“It is true that we have a case of Coronavirus in Turkana County. Exactly two months and twelve days after the first case of Covid-19 disease was announced in Kenya on 13th March 2020, the first case has occurred in Turkana County.

According to Lotethiro, the case was confirmed positive following the testing of twenty-four samples that had been collected and sent to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret on Friday, 22nd of May 2020.

“After testing the 24 samples, a 32-year-old male of Somali origin and currently living in Kenya as a registered refugee attached to Kakuma Refugee Camp tested positive,” said Lotethiro.

At the time of sample collection, the victim was being held at the Kakuma isolation center where he had been quarantined since 13th May 2020.

Before he was placed on quarantine, it is reported that the victim had travelled to Eastleigh, Nairobi and managed to beat police barriers to collect his 31-year-old sister and his nephew of less than two years.

He escaped to Eldoret through the Mai Mahiu route via a taxi and eventually made it to Lodwar via Kainuk.

Upon reaching Lokore police barrier a short distance away from Kakuma, the victim who was traveling in a hired vehicle with four occupants was stopped by police and alleged he was returning from hospital where the small baby had been attended. However, he was unable to produce evidence of hospitalization. Police got suspicious and immediately informed the public health team for action. Together with the occupants, they were taken to quarantine facilities.

The county has upscaled infection prevention and control measures, contact tracing and heightened its surveillance activities to reduce further spread of the disease in the county.

Meanwhile, Health CEC Jane Ajele announced that 25 cases of cholera had been reported in Kakuma with children between the ages of 6 and 11 as the most affected.

On his part, Health Chief Officer Dr. Roberts Abok said that the Department had moved with speed to position PPEs for enhanced contact tracing, sample collection and management of the confirmed case moving forward.

Dr. Abok lauded the Turkana West team for exhibiting a high index of suspicion that yielded positive results despite the patient being asymptomatic.

DG Lotethiro was accompanied by Health CEC Jane Ajele, Health CO Dr. Roberts Abok, Director for Resource Mobilization Charles Ekai, Director for Medical Services Dr. Gilchrist Lokoel and the deputy director for health Dr. Kevin Lomuria.


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